History & Heritage
THE OKINAWA KARATEDO
The origins of Karatedo go back to the ancient travels of Buddhist monks throughout the Asian frontier. Unarmed and oppressed; it became necessary for them to develop a weapon less form of self-defence for their survival.
Merchants travelling south from China to the Ryukyu Islands – or Okinawa – brought with them this art of the ‘Chinese Hand’ or To-De (later to be called Karate – ‘Empty Hand’). During this time Japan invaded these islands and its warriors found themselves confronted by the fierce retaliation of skilled practitioners of this secret art.
In the 1900s, an enthusiastic Okinawan youngster by the name of Chojun Miyagi became well-skilled in the art and determined to know more. He was advised to travel to China to study the many different methods of martial arts. His search led him to the hard school of Shaolin Chuan; the soft school of Pakua Chan; and from these two he developed his own style of Goju – Hard and Soft. He advocated that both the hard and soft complimented each other and he created the Sanchin and Tensho, a formal exercise which combined both these elements. Also featured in the style is the breathing exercise known as “Ibuki”, which incorporates external breathing – Yo Ibuki; a strong vocal hiss which emphasises dynamic tension, and internal breathing – In Ibuki; which is nasal and is performed with techniques. The use of this exercise creates deep abdominal development and rejuvenation of energy. The whole body is exercised both internally and externally.
A student of Chojin Miyagi, the Carpenter Murata, travelled to Japan and began to teach. One of his students was a young man who was agile, fast and strong, and had a reputation for being a deceptive fighter, giving no ground to any adversary. He was known as the ‘Cat’, because of his favourite fighting stance, Neko Ashi Kamae (the Cat Stance). His name was Gogen Yamaguchi. He soon proved to be a man of credibility and initiative and became highly respected in Karate circles in Japan.
Gogen Yamaguchi systemised the style into basically the system used all over the world today, and organised the style into what I know as The Goju Kai (Kai = Organisation).
On his death bed, the old master Miyagi called for all the Senior Members and announced to them his choice of a successor. It was then that Gogen Yamaguchi became 10th Dan and the Grand Master of Goju Karate – the Kaicho!!
At about this time, Japan was occupied by the American Forces and many American servicemen became attracted to this dynamic art, and in particular to the well-organised school of Gogen Yamaguchi, and then brought home to America the discipline they had learned. Miyagi had visited Hawaii in 1930 and now Yamaguchi travelled to Hawaii on the invitation of Instructor Masaichi Oshiro. (3rd Dan Tino Ceberano’s Instructor.) It was here at the Hawaiian Goju Karate School back in 1966 that 3rd Dan Tino first met and studied under Grand Master Yamaguchi.
Paul Ceberano has travelled to Japan to train and grade in Goju Karate. This training forms the foundation of his advanced Goju Karate Australia syllabus.
You too can be part of the Goju Karate Australia senior team and travel the world enhancing your skills equal to any Karate anywhere in the world. He endeavours to maintain this standard now through his control of quality over his instructors and by maintaining a vigil over visits to dojo’s Australia Wide, but perhaps mostly by his own rigorous training routine which maintains his position in charge of Goju Karate Australia.
Having effectively been ‘born into karate’, Kyoshi Paul began training at a young age under the strict guidance of his father. He currently holds the rank of “Kyoshi” 6th Dan Black Belt and is Chief Instructor of Goju Karate Australia.
Kyoshi Paul is passionate about teaching and sharing karate with others.